Year 11 Agricultural Science students began Term 4 heading out to rural New South Wales to experience a whole range of extensive agricultural enterprises which differ quite significantly from our more intensive local production. First, students visited Mr Shaun Coleman’s broad-acre farm which utilises GPS navigation and precision farming techniques. This was an eye-opening experience based on the size of the equipment alone! Students helped change over some of the equipment and had a go at guessing the carrying capacity of some of the massive silos!
Next, the Aggies had a tour of Ceres Agricultures Gunyawarildi Feedlot, which is the largest and most unique supplemented grass-fed feedlot in Australia. This demonstrated to the students a fully integrated system, where they grow their own barley, oats and sorghum, mill it on site and then feed it to the cattle prior to sale to the abattoir. They also have their own cattle medical unit and extensive pasture paddocks.
On their final day, the Aggies got in amongst it and worked in a shearing shed experiencing everything to produce a bale of wool. This included penning up sheep, catching a sheep for shearing, shearing, sweeping, throwing a fleece, skirting and classing the wool and then pressing the bale.
Finally, on the long trip home, the Aggies had a tour of Ecogrowth Fertiliser manufacturing plant and Candy Soil’s composting site. It was truly amazing to see how basic elements are mixed in specific ratios and prilled together for our everyday fertilisers. Then to also see how composting can be achieved on an absolutely massive scale certainly made our backyard efforts look minuscule. The Aggies were also treated with an absolutely delicious barbeque courtesy of Ecogrowth.
Jade King, Head of Agricultural Science